The Criminology of Place: Street Segments and Our Understanding of the Crime Problem

ISBN : 9780199928637

David Lee Weisburd; Elizabeth R. Groff; Sue-Ming Yang
288 Pages
163 x 234 mm
Pub date
Nov 2012
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The study of crime has focused primarily on why particular people commit crime or why specific communities have higher crime levels than others. In The Criminology of Place, David Weisburd, Elizabeth Groff, and Sue-Ming Yang present a new and different way of looking at the crime problem by examining why specific streets in a city have specific crime trends over time. Based on a 16-year longitudinal study of crime in Seattle, Washington, the book focuses our attention on small units of geographic analysis-micro communities, defined as street segments. Half of all Seattle crime each year occurs on just 5-6 percent of the city's street segments, yet these crime hot spots are not concentrated in a single neighborhood and street by street variability is tremendous. Weisburd, Groff, and Yang set out to explain why. The Criminology of Place shows how much essential information about crime is inevitably lost when we focus on larger units like neighborhoods or communities. Reorienting the study of crime by focusing on small units of geography, the authors identify a large group of possible crime risk and protective factors for street segments and an array of interventions that could be implemented to address them. The Criminology of Place is a groundbreaking book that radically alters traditional thinking about the crime problem and what we should do about it. "This is a very important book for policy-makers, practitioners and academics. The authors carefully and systematically build their case that effective crime prevention efforts must be focused first on a small number of high crime problem places. The detail of their arguments transforms hotspot policing and prevention in the same way keyhole surgery has transformed medical care. Their case is persuasive and, above all, evidence based" - Peter Neyroud CBE QPM, University of Cambridge and Former Chief Constable and Chief Executive of the National Policing Improvement Agency


Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Putting Crime in its Place
Chapter 3: Crime Concentrations and Crime Patterns at Places
Chapter 4: The Importance of Street Segments in the Production of the Crime Problem
Chapter 5: Concentrations of Crime Opportunities
Chapter 6: Are Processes of Social Disorganization Relevant to the Criminology of Place?
Chapter 7: Understanding Developmental Patterns of Crime at Street Segments
Chapter 8: Conclusions
Appendix 1: Trajectory Analysis Model Selection and Diagnostic Statistics
Appendix 2: Ripley's K Function
Appendix 3: Cross-K Function
Appendix 4: Data Collection
Appendix 5: Additional Statistical Models

About the author: 

David Weisburd is Walter E. Meyer Professor of Law and Criminal Justice and Director of the Institute of Criminology of the Hebrew University Faculty of Law and Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland, College Park. Elizabeth Groff is Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Temple University. Sue-Ming Yang is Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Georgia State University.

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